Canadian Employment Law Today

March 30, 2016

Focuses on human resources law from a business perspective, featuring news and cases from the courts, in-depth articles on legal trends and insights from top employment lawyers across Canada.

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PM40065782 Emplo y ment Law Today Canad ad a ian March 30, 2016 Workplace harasser given second chance AN ONTARIO worker who verbally ha- rassed two female co-workers deserves a second chance at showing respect in the workplace, an arbitrator has ruled. Steve Stewart, 55, was a labourer for Black and McDonald, a construction contractor in the Toronto area. He was hired in late 2011 to work at the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in Clarington, Ont., with some peri- ods of layoff . He had also worked at the Dar- lington site with other contractors since 1999. During his time with Black and McDonald, Stewart had no instances of discipline. e Darlington station was operated by Ontario Power Generation (OPG), which had a code of conduct emphasizing respect in the workplace and a zero tolerance for ha- rassment, discrimination, and abusive con- duct. Black and McDonald also had a policy on workplace violence and harassment. Stewart was trained on the policies of both companies. On Nov. 23, 2015, Stewart was working at a reactor vault with a female radiation protection co-ordinator who was an OPG employee. e co-ordinator's job was to in- struct workers on where to go based on the levels of radiation in various spots. Stewart didn't follow the co-ordinator's in- structions and went to an area he hadn't been instructed to enter. When the co-ordinator told him to go back to where he had been, called her a "stupid f---ing b----" and anoth- er sexist slur. According to the co-ordinator, Stewart was "completely out of control, kick- ing hoses, screaming at me and waving his arms." Other workers nearby saw his behav- iour and heard his comments, though he later denied he said anything to her. e co-ordinator claimed Stewart had made off ensive comments before, calling his former wife a name and saying more than once he wanted to fi nd a good woman to cook and clean for him. She reported the incident to Black and McDonald. Black and McDonald investigated and learned from another female employee that Stewart had been making demeaning re- marks about her since the summer of 2015 and he also bragged about his sexual con- quests. In addition, she reported Stewart had suggested her husband was cheating on her Dismissal of pregnant employee for lying not discriminatory: Tribunal Law fi rm dismissed pregnant employee for dishonesty after she lied about how and when she found out she was pregnant BY JEFFREY R. SMITH THE BRITISH COLUMBIA Human Rights Tribunal has dismissed the discrimi- nation complaint of an employee who was fi red for telling a false story about when she found out she was pregnant. Erica Opp was hired on Nov. 17, 2014, by Vancouver law fi rm Mackoff and Company (MLC) to be a legal administrative assistant. On Opp's fi rst day of work at the fi rm, an associate lawyer saw an individual whom he later learned was Opp enter the elevator he was in. She spoke to another man in the el- evator and told him it was her fi rst day at her new job with MLC. She also whispered to the man that she had just found out she was pregnant. When the man asked her if she was going to inform MLC, she responded, "No, I don't know." She and the man then agreed she should work for MLC for a while before announcing her pregnancy. Proposed Ontario legislation presumes PTSD in fi rst responders is work-related pg. 3 What does it mean? with Tim Mitchell CREDIT: BIKERIDERLONDON/SHUTTERSTOCK Employee assaults co-worker, gets $25,000 and reinstatement pg. 4 Employer failed to consider evidence of medical condition that may have played a role in violent incident in the workplace ASK AN EXPERT pg. 2 Walking the line between simple communication and interference HARASSER on page 7 » EMPLOYEE on page 6 »

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